There are several ways that Slaughterhouse Five is similar to The Things They Carried. O'Brian makes himself a character in his novel, in the same way that Vonnegut appeared throughout his own novel. Both novels also jump around in time, more so in SH5, but O'Brian often tells the readers what is going to happen before it really does. For example, the readers know that both Curt Lemon and Ted Lavender die, but have to read on to find out how. Both authors use dark humor throughout their writing. Just as Vonnegut uses "so it goes", O'Brian makes dark jokes, like when he describes the way that Curt Lemon died and was hanging in pieces from a tree(the "lemon tree"). Both authors also acknowledge that their stories are less about the truth, but more about giving the readers a taste of what war feels like. This is especially true in he chapter "How to Tell a War Story". Lastly, O'Brian's story is the same as Vonnegut's in the way that they are classified as fiction, but derived from real life experiences and people to give reader's the "truth" about war.
O'Brien and Vonnegut both talk about writing stories. In the first chapter of Slaughterhouse 5, Vonnegut talks about how he went on a search for him friend and talked about the war so that he could write about it. In The Things They carries, O'Brien talks about stories that he did not want to tell, like On the Rainy River. O'Brien's novel is all about little stories mushed together. He also shows this in How to Tell a True War Story. It is him talking about all the characteristic of a true war story and it makes you think about his stories and id they are true. Both authors let you know what they kind of went through to get these stories and they talk about writing them in the novel.
O'Brien and Vonnegut are similar in multiple ways. First, O'Brien is a character in the book just like Vonnegut was Billy Pilgrim. Vonnegut talks about death and says "so it goes" as if it's not a big deal and O'Brien looks at death the same way. Being in war, it's normal for people to die. When Curt Lemon died O'Brien almost made a joke out of it saying there were pieces of him in the lemon tree. With O'Brien saying this, one can infer that his attitude towards death is also like Vonnegut's. O'Brien tells strange stories that are more than likely not true, like the Sweetheart of the song Tra Bong, with a girl going to visit her boyfriend and turning into a greent beret which is more than likely false. Vonnegut also told crazy stories especially about the aliens. Lastly, they are both similar because both books are "fiction" yet some of the events in the story really happened.
Slaughterhouse 5 and The Things They Carried have many similarities. First of all both deal with war and both Vonnegut and O'Brien ask one of their friends if they should tell a war story or not. Both stories jump around a bit like going back and forth between present and past but O'Brien never really time travels like Vonnegut does except for On The Rainy River when he brings to mind all the things that he would later experience. So its almost like he did have "some time travel". Both give stories that aren't true but could be taken as true like about the girl that visits her boyfriend in Vietnam. The last thing is that both authors put themselves into the book even when they are not the main character, they just throw themselves in there randomly but the difference is that O'Brien tells you when he does.
Slaughterhouse 5 and The Things They Carried are very similar. In both books the author meets with one of the characters and talks about writing a book about their war experiences. In Slaughterhouse 5, Vonnegut made himself one of the characters (Billy Pilgrim) just like in The Things They Carried where O'Brien kind of makes Jimmy Cross represent himself. The authors viewpoints on war are also similar. They both considered death not a big deal, as just a normal part of life when you're in war. They talk about people dying and then move on like nothing happened. Lastly, they both satirize war. Their goals in writing their books is to reveal the real horrors of war and not glorify it.
In both of the books the authors use themselves as characters. Both of the stories are about war and what they had to go through while they were in it. It also shows how some of the other soldiers felt during the war and what happened to them. In both stories the skip around from being in the past to being in present time.
"The Things They Carried" is similar to "Slaughterhouse-5" in many ways. The authors approach to writing the story is very similar. Both authors don't tell the story exactly as it occured. They both change the story to evoke an emotion out of the reader. Another similarity is the way they make death seem irrelevent. Both authors try to make a point out of how they were forced to view death as something minor. Both stories also include quite a bit of gore. For example, in "The things they carried" O'Brien discussed how a guy was blown into pieces. The pieces were later hanging from a nearby tree.
The Things They Carried and Slaughterhouse Five have a few similarities. Neither of these stories have a consistent time period. Billy Pilgrim's story skips around due to his time travels, and O'Brian's stories take place at various points in the war. In both books, events are mentioned in one time period and then explained in another. This happens several times regarding the deaths of characters. Both authors also use darker humor in their writing. The majority of this humor relates to death. Vonnegut uses "so it goes" when death occurs, and O'Brian uses somewhat humorous descriptions. For example, the passage about Curt Lemon hanging in the tree is almost funny, but morbid at the same time.
One of the major similarities that I found between SH5 and The Things They Carried was the emotion both authors were trying to convey to their readers. Neither story focuses on the truth of what really happened in the Vietnam War, rather O’Brien and Vonnegut wrote their novels not as a way to let us see what actually happened, but to feel it. They both wanted us to be there with them smelling the dirt and listing to the mountains. They wanted us to feel the sorrow they felt when a friend, civilian, or innocent baby water buffalo was murdered. Like most postmodern writers O’Brien and Vonnegut successfully gave their readers an experience, and not just another war story.
There are a lot of things the The Things They Carried has in common with SH5. First off both O'Brian and Vonnegut use themselves as characters in there novels. Not telling the exact truth but just proving a point and educating the reader. Second is the experience that is created. SH5 and The Things They Carried aren't just novels they themselves are an experience that the reader just has to go along with. Neither story is told chronologically more so SH5. But O'Brian does hint at things and go back and forth. Ultimately they are both very fragmented and the reader has to put them together.
The Things They Carried and SH5 are so common in every which way. Both writes base themselves as main characters and tell you stories about wars. Because the books are fiction, you can never tell if what they are writing is made up or if it really happened in their life. Another similarity is how they flip times. The books are not in order but rather jump around and tell you information and end up not learning the rest until later in the book. It is up to the reader to separate fact and fiction, and possibly the order of the book.
This novel tells a very dark humored tale about the horrors of war. The author gives credibility to the story by including himself as one of the main characters, however most of the events in the novel didn't actually happen, even though they take place in reality. The author doesn't necessarily say bad things about war, but the lightness given to topics such as death and mass murder leave the reader feeling uneasy although slightly amused, but mostly disturbed by the effects of warfare. The story does not follow a linear path, but each segment leads into the other in a way that makes sense in context, and all of the characters are extreme versions of people who existed in real life. Who was the author?
So far in The Things They Carried we have seen many short stories told by the perspective by many different people. We see how the war was viewed both very similarly and differently by different people, and how they reacted before, after, and during the war. We hear stories of those who died, and those who witnessed their friends dying. I really like this book, and I find it much more intriguing then Slaughter House 5. The Things They Carried is much more realistic, and doesn't include the ravings of someone who is suffering sever post dramatic stress disorder. Both books were very similar in that they are very anti war, and don't tell their story in a linier fashion. Both books also carry a very important theme, Nothing is moral about war. Slaughterhouse 5 tells us about how there is nothing intelligent about a massacre. The Things they Carried holds this theme in saying no war story has a moral.
O'Brien and Vonnegut. Both war veterans. Both writers. The novels each author crafted could almost be assumed as inevitably similar. Stories about war. The author themselves being portrayed as the protagonist. Creating awareness and education on the topic of experiencing war first hand. The foundation of each novel is very similar. But what makes comparing the two novels special, is the corresponding events between the two novels, and even the specific techniques the authors share in their writing. What I first noticed as a similarity was in O'Brien's story, in the chapter Love, he was visiting Jimmy Cross at his home. This event reminded me of when Vonnegut visited the O'Hare's at their home. Another similar occurrence that happened in both novels was the surreal experiences each story contained. O'Brien (in How to Tell a True War Story) wrote about how Mitchell Sanders tells a story about hearing voices while out on listening post duty. One can compare such an imaginary experience with Vonneguts planet of the Tralfamadorians. The techniques each author employs are the biggest contributors to the similarity of the novels. Like many people have said before, chronological order meant nothing to either of these men. O'Brien skips around during war time (going from the plight of O'Brien's draft to Curt Lemon's dentist encounter in Vietnam), and Vonnegut time travels (from the Tralfamadorians to getting mentally abused by Roland Weary in the war). Each author also focuses on each story's secondary characters, giving them each their time to shine (specifically, the secondary characters in each novel are thrown in to give life to each story). Lastly, O'Brien and Vonnegut don't write about war, ironically. Both authors have war surroundings, but their main focus is on the LIVES of the soldiers. Not the life of the war. O'Brien discusses Mary Anne and her experience in Vietnam. Vonnegut tells about a post-war story of a barbershop quartet of optometrists that sing obscenities on a plane. The books' basis is war. But the amount of war talk is minimal.
"Slaugherhouse Five" and "The Things They Carried" are similar to each other in a lot of ways. Firstly, O'Brien places himself in the book much like the way Vonnegut based Slaughterhouse Five off of his personal experiences. Also, they are both works of fiction, but based off of entirely true events. An obvious similarity is they both deal with war, and the effects that it can have on people. In Slaughterhouse Five it went more in depth with the emotions that Billy Pilgrim felt about war, but you still get a feel for it in "The Things They Carried." The Things They Carried is basically one book with a bunch of short stories in it. This is similar to SH5 in the way that we are taken every few pages to someplace else, it seems to switch around a lot.
Paige's comment:You have said in class many times that Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried are very similar, but I didn't really consider them as such until I started thinking about how to answer this prompt. The stories come across as really different to me; even though they employ many of the same writing techniques, there seems to be a very different voice to the novels. However, by glancing at the other responses and from what I know of both the books, they really are very similar. Since the others have already covered the basis of the similarities very well, I'll try to talk about more specific incidents in The Things They Carried that remind me of Slaughterhouse Five.O'Brien uses "humping" to describe the way the soldiers walk during war. The term is used frequently and makes an appearance in probably every chapter. This emphasis on the monotony of walking reminds me of the way Billy Pilgrim thumped along in his broken shoes during the war. I like that both of the authors put an emphasis on this walking that the soldiers do because I never thought about it before, how repetitive and burdensome all that walking must be. I never realized that soldiers walked so much before; I had this silly notion that soldiers stay in the same place during the entire war. The things that the soldiers in The Things They Carried and the necklace of tongues that Mary Anne collected reminded me of Vonnegut's descriptions of what the people around him got from the war. Bringing back little pieces of the war seems to be a common thing among those who have fought, a way to capture something that's impossible to capture completely. Finally, I think the story in "The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" is a perfect representation of Billy. Mary Anne's loss of innocence and life is very similar to the way Billy became very empty and indifferent after the war. The way Mary Anne was described after her transformation, with empty eyes, strongly reminds me of the way Billy seemed very emotionless even when he was doing emotional things like crying. Vonnegut and O'Brien tell very different stories but they tell them the same way. They rely on the absence of talk about actual war to convey the true grittiness of it; both succeed in telling a true war story without telling completely real stories.
Amber's post:There is no doubt there are similarities between Vonnegut and O'Briens' novels. One of the major ones that I saw was the first chapter in Slaughterhouse FIve and the chapter "Love" in The Things They Carried. Both authors use the pronoun "I" and tell a personal story of meeting with an old war buddy years after the war. A slight difference is when the rest of the novel continues, as O'Brien continues the use of the pronoun "I" and includes himself in the characters, while Vonnegut takes the reader into the world of Billy Pilgrim. The writing styles are also similar, both very descriptive. Both of the novels are also not written in chronological order, but rather occur haphazardly.
Slaughter-House Five and The Things They Carried are very similar. Both are war novels. Both of the authors are characters in their own books. Both novels play with the concept of time. In The Things They Carried, the author tells a series of stories that appear to be in no particular order which is very similar to the structure of Slaughter-House 5. He also often states things that haven’t happened in the book yet. For example, he repeatedly foreshadows Ted Lavender’s death before actually telling the story. Vonnegut does a similar thing in Slaughter-House Five when he keeps mentioning how Edgard Derby was shot for stealing a teapot. Both novels take similar stances on the issue of war. Both hate war, but also except it as a thing that has to exist. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien says that he couldn’t claim to oppose war on pure principle because he thought that some wars, like the war to stop Hitler, are “worth it.” Similarly, in Slaughter-House Five, Vonnegut seems to say that while war is horrible, it is also inevitable. The biggest similarity between the two novels is that both are essentially just the author trying to express his own feelings, regardless of the result. There’s not an effort to form a cohesive story with an explicit message, Both authors are just trying to tell their story and see what becomes of it.
Reading back through posts, I’m quite amazed at many of the similarities people have found. When initially reading the prompt, I thought there would be no way I would be able to answer it at a decent length. It is truly strange to me that two seemingly different war novels can incorporate so many similar strategies and plot events in the telling of their tales that they seem to merge in my mind. I’m wondering what that says about war in general, if a global catastrophe and an isolated struggle can have so very much in common. It was a new experience for me this year, reading novels that were not using emotionally packed language and dramatized events to convey the horrors of war. Instead, I saw a distinct lack of any true emotion whatsoever. Whether it be through Billy Pilgrim’s disconnect from reality or O’Brien’s platoon of blustering boys, it was nearly impossible to discern any true feelings felt by the soldiers about the war itself while they were serving. The writing style of these war novels also greatly reflect one another. When reading Slaughterhouse Five, I became accustomed to Vonnegut’s pragmatic telling of events and began to associate that style with his key phrase, “So it goes.” Then when I went to read The Things They Carried, whenever a death was mentioned I kept expecting that phrase to pop up. When it didn’t, I would realize my mistake and keep reading, only to stop again later. War seems to affect its victims in similar ways, according to Vonnegut and O’Brien. It must change a young, ambitious boy to see his comrades in arms blown to bits. The setting doesn’t matter, only the events. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien tells the story of a women brought to war, saying through the voice of Rat Kiley that “[People back home] will never understand any of this, not in a billion years.” He then goes on to marvel at the fact that this woman, Mary Anne, will understand, and be a better wife for it. Vonnegut echoes that thought in his novel through the description of his own actions after the war. By visiting O’Hare, Vonnegut shows his need to be with an individual who understands his struggles and can truly empathize with what he’s going through.Ha! I’ve managed to avoid using the word “both” in a comparison prompt!
Vonnegut and O’Brien both carry their stories in similar ways because of not only their backgrounds, but also the message that they are trying to express. Both authors illustarte war horror stories, of the dead bodies and blood and gore that they experience. Both describe these scenes very nonchalantly, and pass them off as acts of war. The effect of understating the feelings and terror associated with their experiences magnifies the horror of the wars that they experienced. The emphasis on children fighting in the war is evident in both stories, and helps express the immaturity of the soldiers who were performing these vulgar acts.A real eye opening point in both novels is the killing of the animals. When the horse is injured in SH5 and the buffalo is brutally killed in The Things They Carried, the emotions of both the soilders and the reader is truly soiled. It raises the question: Why is it that the killing of thousands of humans doesn’t bother someone the least bit, but when an animal is killed it pulls at the deepest heartstrings?Both novels portray a strong antiwar message by sarcastically downplaying the horridness of their experiences in war. By doing this, it makes you question your own integrity.
Christine's Post!SH5 and The Things They Carried have similarities in the way they were written. In both books, the authors make themselves part of the story. also, both authors jump around in time. In SH5, one page you're in the present and the next you're on Tralfalmador. In The Thins They Carried, one second you're reading about a brutal mutilation of a baby buffalo, and they next you're reading (for the 3 millionth time) that Kurt Lemon was blown to pieces in a tree. Similar to what Clarice said, It's really interesting that when discussing the books most of us are saying "aw the poor buffalo! it was so sad!" or "that poor horse! it was just trying to do it's job!" We as readers play right along side the authors in these instances. We use the animals as an outlet to express our sadness. We understand that people died and that it was part of war, but not until something as innocent as a baby buffalo or horse dies do we allow ourselves to really be sad. When the soldiers storm a village and kill 40 or 50 people including children who were "suspected" of having Viet Cong influence, we say "oh we had to" but if we killed a herd of 50 buffalo, we'd all be crying into our books.
There are several connections one can make between Slaughter House 5 and The Things They Carried. Some are obvious, such as the fact that both are about war, and others one has to dig a little deeper. Both Vonnegut and O’Brian put themselves into their stories. They each created a chapter where they were talking with an old war buddy. Each also discussed their daughters throughout the novels. In both books the stories and chapters are all jumbled up. Neither were organized in chronological order. A lot of the stories seem surreal and made up; Vonnegut talked about alien abductions while O’Brian told a story about a woman named Mary Anne who became a Green Berets. Although the novels are considered fiction, they are based on fact and real life experiences. Both Vonnegut and O’Brian drew from their time in war and the experiences they gained to write a novel that really explained how they felt and what they went through, in a roundabout way.
Slaughterhouse Five and The Things they Carried are similar in many ways. They are both told through the eyes of a war veteran, and both narrators jump around in time, telling their stories in a nonlinear manner. Dark humor is also employed throughout the novel. Vonnegut's "So it goes" is similar to the way O'Brien deals with death in his novel, making jokes about the "lemon tree" when Curt Lemon dies and "zapped when zipping" after Ted Lavender is killed. Both novels also make the story about the process in which the characters come to points in their lives rather than the idea of them actually getting there. For example, rather than building suspense to Billy's time traveling or the death of his wife or a traumatic experience from the war, Vonnegut tells you that these things happen and then tells you how, making the book about the process rather than the actual events. O'Brien does the same in TTHC. Readers learn early on about some traumatic events that happen to the narrator so the novel is more about how those events happen rather than the events actually happening, if that makes sense.
Both Slaughter House 5 and The Things They Carried have anti-war sentiment. O’Brien and Vonnegut include flashbacks to meeting with their old war buddies to reminisce about their war experiences. Chronology is an unfamiliar concept in both novels. Vonnegut made that a central theme in his piece as he had Billy Pilgrim travel incoherently through time. O’Brien merely pulls stories he remembers from the war without regard to order. Vonnegut and O’Brien highlight the absence of well-known truths from the atmosphere of war as well. By mentioning Tralfamadore, Vonnegut uproots the reader’s hold on reality. O’Brien talks of the truth in war stories. “In war you lose your sense of the definite, hence your sense of truth itself, and therefore it’s safe to say that in a true war story nothing is ever absolutely true” (O’Brien 82). These concepts show the disconnection between perception and actuality when it comes to an experience like war. Both authors use this to rally emotions against war.
Both Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried share many similarities. In both novels, the main characters experience something with the war and want to write a book about these experiences. In Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut made himself into the character Billy, while O’Brien made himself Jimmy. Death is not as big of a deal to the two of them. In Slaughterhouse Five, “So it goes”, was the phrase always used, while in The Things They Carried just gives off a sense to the audience that death doesn’t affect him very much. They see death as just a daily thing that happens every day. Finally, war is described throughout both of the novels and both want their books to represent war as not a gruesome book.
A lot of the similarities between Slaughterhouse-Five and The Things They Carried are really obvious: both were war veterans, both are obviously dealing with some major PTSD, etc etc. The two novels also share a similar sort of plot construction (or lack thereof, if you so prefer). Both novels are really a collection of fragments, as in, there is no point A to point B to point C progression. Rather, each novel is constructed as a series of interconnected stories. In Slaughterhouse-Five, the reader follows Billy Pilgrim's character as he ebbs and flows across time. In The Things They Carried, we are similarly bound to wherever Tim O'Brian's memory happens to take us, whether it be floating along the Rainy River or being transfixed at the Vietnamese with a star for an eye. The stylistic element of repetition is also used within both novels in very similar ways. In Slaughterhouse-Five there's the all-powerful example of 'So it goes.', but Vonnegut also employs repetition concerning plot elements. For example, we are informed numerous times that Edgar Derby is going to be shot for taking a tea kettle. This technique is echoed within The Things They Carried. Within O'Brian's narration, facts are often repeated. Such is true of Curt Lemon's death, as well as many occurances within the chapter "The Man I Killed." O'Brian constantly references the "star-shaped hole" as well as other features of the dead Vietnamese body. This makes it seems as if O'Brian is almost Vonnegut himself.
I felt that there were quite a few similarities between Slaughterhouse 5 and The Things They Carried. The obvious one is that both of these were about war. The authors of both these stories were obviously affected in some way by the war. Vonnegut had PTSD; O’Brien was haunted by the man he killed. Also, both of these men find a way to incorporate themselves into the story. The premises of these two stories seem to be similar; they both revolve (in some way) around the authors writing a story, within the story itself. Another similarity lies behind the symbolism of objects. In The Things They Carried, the objects the soldiers carry have a deep meaning; for some, it’s a reminder of home. For others, the objects provide a temporary escape from the war. Meanwhile, we find this same symbolism in Slaughterhouse 5. In that book, we see many soldiers stealing or taking things from Germany during the war for various reasons. Maybe because the object looked cool, or maybe because it somehow reminded them of the war. Either way, the symbolism played large parts in both novels.
In their anti-war novels, Tim O’Brien and Kurt Vonnegut delve into the human emotional reaction to the macabre events experienced during a war, rather than glorifying the skillful combat of the soldiers. Despite being fiction novels, they have a brand of authenticity others lack. Other than being war veterans, the authors begin their novels with a direct statement verifying their novel’s truthful nature.Vonnegut begins his novel by communicating “All this happened, more or less”. However, O’Brien more extensively implements the debate of fact versus fiction into his novel. He makes several of these explorations in “How to Tell a True War Story”. O’Brien writes: “ In any war story, but especially a true one, it’s difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen.” (71) While O’Brien holds this idea in his recollections, Vonnegut conveys it through the science fiction aspect of his anti-war novel. We never really know whether Billy’s experience with the Tralfamadorians is just a method of coping or if it actually occurred. Blurring the lines between fiction and reality is a common thread between both of these pieces. Many readers might be slightly taken aback by this notion, essentially being lied to, that is. However,manipulating events that actually happened; stylizing them, is fundamental to rendering the emotions felt by soldiers in that moment, otherwise unimaginable and inconceivable to those who simply haven’t witnessed first hand the horrors of war. “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”This quote by Pablo Picasso provides a looking glass into the minds of such writers as Vonnegut and O’Brien. Crafting their memories, in a way that separates them from the conventional and less poignant autobiography, they are able to convey true and effective anti-war sentiment.Another theme that meshes the two novels together is time. However, I did not find as much importance in the similarly structured scattering of recollections in a nonlinear fashion as I did in a certain event when O’Brien was on the boat with the old man. He remembers staring out into the far shoreline and seeing “faces from my distant past and distant future.” This brought into my mind the mountain range that the Tralfamadorians use to describe they way they see time. By collectively accumulating the huge range of people and moments in this visual manner O’Brien is denoting the lack of free will just as was the message of Kurt Vonnegut.When finishing Slaughterhouse Five the reader is left with an obscure but melodious question reading, “Poo-tee-weet?” This incomprehensible ending is reminiscent of a quote in The Things They Carried. “ You can tell a true war story by the way it never seems to end. Not then, not ever.”(76) There is no apparent closure in the ending of Slaughterhouse Five, just like there is no resolution in the subsequent life and death of the soldiers Tim O’Brien describes. This is the toil of war veterans trying to find a good way to justify war, and showing the world there isn't one.
Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried are written similarly. Both authors use frequent anecdotes, an indifferent tone, and a postmodernist style of writing. The postmodernism employed in both books is evident from the beginning, in Slaughterhouse Five Vonnegut speaks of the story he is going to tell in the first chapter but does not start the actual story until the second. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien starts the first three chapters as a general overview of all the men involved and random anecdotes, then in the fourth chapter he begins the specific story, employing postmodernism in the first quote “This is one story I’ve never told before.” Both authors reveal parts of the story at the beginning of the novel before the actual “story” begins. For example in The Things They Carried O'Brien reveals who dies in the beginning but leaves the reader to find out how by reading the rest of the book. Both novels use an indifferent tone when speaking of war and death, viewing it as unchangeable and therefore something to be taken as is. Both authors make war out to be neither terrifying nor simple. Lastly, both authors jump back and forth in time by use of different little anecdotes.
The Things They Carried and Slaughterhouse Five have a lot in common. In the the first chapter of SH5, Vonnegut narrates what he did after the war and how he got in contact with his friend from the war. In The Things they carried, the second chapter, O'Brien talks about a time after the war where is speaking to his lieutenant, Jimmy Cross. Through out the book, Vonnegut's story goes in between time periods and so does O'Briens. Both stories are little stories that you need to string together to get the main concept. One important similarity is that both authors don't romanticize the war. They both tell it how it was, some days were frightlning and others more calm.
The Things They Carried, and SH5 are incredibly similar. To begin, both authors are characters in the novels that they wrote. Vonnegut is Billy, and O’brien is O’brien. Time was a really big part in SH5. It jumped around from point to point; someone that died in chapter three would return again in chapter six. In a way, it’s the same in The Things They Carried. Someone will die, but still be talked about in later chapters, and later stories. So, both have more of a jumbled, non-chronological set of chapters. Though SH5 was a more a science fiction novel with the Tralfamadorians, The Things They carried is fiction as well, because O’brien talks a lot about the “legitimacy” of war stories. So in both SH5 and The Things They Carried there is a lot of story fabrication and fiction, but both have real facts and experiences of the war. And.. both are obviously books about war. With that, they seem to emphasize death, and youth in the war. How the soldiers were “babies” in SH5, and how Azar seems to justify his actions by saying he is “only a boy”. Both novels also seem to tone down death. Vonnegut and his repetitive “so it goes”, and the downplay of the torture of the water buffalo in The Things They Carried. It’s always left for the reader to decide their feelings. Like Clarice said, they are incredibly sarcastic downplaying war.
I think the biggest thing I've noticed is the way they both seem to treat death and the dead as if it's no big deal, like the whole "so it goes" thing (until you get to the man O'Brien actually killed). Another similarity is how they both jump back and forth between times before, during, and after the war. O'Brien doesn't actually state the he was "unstuck in time" but it has the same feeling. One of the coolest things I've noticed is that there is no down-playing of any of the crueler or meaner characters. He is very frank about the way people acted. Also, they both place a lot of emphasis on the fact that most of the soldiers were very young.
Besides the obvious fact that both novels are war stories there are many similarities between both The Things They Carried and Slaughterhouse Five. First similarity could be found in the chapter How to Tell a True War Story, in The Things They Carried. In this chapter Tim O'Brien shares that not everything in war stories are absolutely true because in a war not everything that happens can be seen and sometimes what is seen is indescribable. This compares to Slaughterhouse Five's Tralfamadorians. The tralfamadorians were only real to Kurt Vonnegut. This correlates with the war stories of Tim O'Brien which can sometimes be exaggerated. Another similarity between the two books would be the number of minor characters they have. The Things They Carried and SH5 all have an immense amount of characters all with separate story lines. Characters like Mary Anne and Trout detract from the immense seriousness of the real tales they are telling.
While reading The Things They Carried, I made many connections that reminded me of parts of Slaughterhouse 5. One connection I made was how both novels are anti-war novels and point out how they did not support the war they were fighting in. Both of them strive to reveal the "truth" about war. Despite the very different styles of writing, both authors were able to convey the same ideas and themes. Another thing that was similar between both books was how the author made themselves a character in the book and referenced experiences about writing the book. For example in Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut talks about his meeting with one of his war buddies and the struggles thye had writing the book, and in The Things They Carried, O'Brien often references about meetings with his war friends and how he sometimes was blank when it came to putting his thoughts on paper. Both books are made up of a bunch of little pieces that you have to wait to figure out how they fit together. You often know that a certain event is going to happen but you don't figure out how it happens until a later point in the novel.
These Things Carried and Slaughter House 5 are related in a lot of ways that work to create the message of being against war. They both use short stories and antidotes to express what it's really like to be in war. For example in These Things Carried there is the section titled Spin that is made up solely of short stories that happened while they were at war. This type of writing is more true to life and thus has the affect of bringing the characters to life. When the characters come to life, in both novels, it makes the reader care for them and see them as human. This tactic is useful when the author wants the reader to see the human side of war. Both novels also work to make the war experience seem as anti-Hollywood as possible. Neither story really talks about how the main character runs through the field of bombs to save the poor, innocent cat from the line of fire. These stories only share the true parts. There isn't a Tom Cruise character so they are more relatable. Making each heartache experienced all the more meaningful and real.
War stories are war stories, so there are bound to be similarities between Slaughterhouse 5 and TTTC. However, both books are similar in ways that are from outside their shared genre. Both take negative views of their respective wars, obviously, since one is unlikely to recall fondly the moment their buddy's legs got blown off. Both tell their stories in a very disjointed and inharmonious pattern, lingering on some topics, diverging and going off on long tangents for extended periods.An especially prevalent theme in both books is narrow focus on specific details. The authors tend to write in a tunnel vision-esqe style, centering on a single object to the conspicuous neglect for all else. TTTC did it when Tim killed a man. SL5 did it on multiple occasions.However, the most striking similarity between the two novels is ideological construction. The "war is bad" cliche given new breath by making people, real people, and putting them in combat boots and making them do things they are completely unprepared to do. They set them up. They show us the characters, Curt Lemon and Jimmy Cross and Billy Pilgrim. They make us care about them, feel for them. And then they blow them up and make jokes about lemon trees.
Both Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried display many similarities. One of the most noticeable similarities for me is the way the books are written. They are written so well. The diction is so easily understandable. Both books chronicle a group of war heroes accompanied by various war stories that further the plot. Another factor that plays into furthering the plots are all of the fragmented stories that Kurt Vonnegut and Tim O'Brien employ in their writing. Neither book is written in chronological order, which in its own ways aids in the effectiveness of the writing. Vonnegut went from Billy Pilgrim's wartime experiences into his everyday life effectively jumping from story to story. The same idea accompanies The Things They Carried. Tim O'Brien tells many fragmented stories. He goes in depth with the war stories but cuts them short sometimes. O'Brien goes especially in depth though when he explains how he almost fled to Canada. This coincides with how a war actually goes functions. There are few moments when you can relax during wartime because there is usual constant shooting and bombing. The many fragmented stories written in Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried represent the essence of war. The stream of conscience narrative is extremely alike in both stories also. You can relate to the book so easily based on how it is written. It seems as if the books are conversing with you rather than telling a stories. Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried also do a great job at explaining the horrors of war. They both exemplify antiwar books.
I have found a lot of connections between the two books. The most obvious, for myself, being that both works seem to have a lack of a timeline. In Slaughterhouse, the reader was literally "time traveling" throughout the chapters. In this book as well, we encounter events that have occurred to the narrator, but not in a specific order. We learn of a character's death, only to have the next chapter about them before they died. For example, we read how Lemon was killed. However, the next chapter was about him being afraid of the dentist. It seems as though the entire book is not following a timeline, very similar to Slaughterhouse. This also makes me believe that they both have a similar theme, or perhaps one similar theme out of many different ones. This theme is that war is not something that simply takes places, and is over. There is no beginning middle nor end. A second similarity that I noticed is that no one in either book is painted in a bad light. Sure there are characters that do immoral things, but they are never really described by the narrator as bad people. In Slaughterhouse, the Germans were never seen as the enemies; they were seen as other participants in the war. In TTTC, Rat was not seen as cruel for attacking the buffalo; he was seen as a soldier coping with the war.
The novels The Things They Carried and Slaughterhouse Five are both books about war that share some similarities. Both are told by authors who have experienced war before. Also, both authors are part of story in the book and have suffered from the effects of war. Tim is greatly affected about him killing someone and Vonnegut suffers from PTSD. The two novels also are told in a same way. There is no chronological order; instead, it is told as many different stories connected to each other. For TTTC, O'Brien tells a variety of different war stories and Vonnegut describes the life of Billy Pilgrim and his adventures. Both authors also tell you what is going to happen before they describe the story. For example, in TTTC, we know Ted Lavender and Curt Lemon die beforehand,and in SH5 we know that Edgar Derby dies and Billy survives the war. Finally, the authors’ tone are alike. They are both against war but accept the events that happen in it. They also downplay the tragic events in the war. Both authors write their books in a neutral tone regarding the war, not acknowledging outright if it is good or bad. War is more complicated than that and describing it is not black and white. Tim O’Brien writes “war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love.” pg 80.
Vonnegut and O'Brien share many similarities with their books. For example, both authorappear in the story more than once, yet Vonnegut madekes vague notices about his appearance. Both authors also share a dark humor towards death and tend to make light of the death around them. Another similarity is that they themselves are not the main characters of the book but rather background characters in other people's stories. Both authors make reference to their present where they ask their friends about war memories that they can use in their books as well.
I find that both books, SH5 and The Things They Carried are indeed similar although being different set in different situations and in different wars. So far both books are very redundant in the way they tell the reader what happened but won't go into details until later on in the story. Another thing they share is a jumping around in the timeline. I will say though that The Things They Carried is somewhat easier to follow in terms of time then SH5 is. I enjoy the fact that both books are written in a soldier's point of view. I think that both authors wrote their story, true or not, in a way that really let readers get in a certain frame of mind so that in a way it seems they are experiencing the war too. As Emmy mentioned above, neither author downplays the cruelty they witnessed, and they treated death as not a big deal. I am unfortunately like the majority of the American public and felt the saddest about the water buffalo's and puppy's death - not as much sadness for Curt Lemon's even though that was pretty gruesome too. I enjoy the diction of both authors and look forward to finishing the book up.
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Let me start by saying I like Slaughterhouse Five so much better than The Things They Carried at the moment. Vonnegut just seems more direct and real with his writing, while O'Brien uses a lot of crafty language that makes his writing sound almost poetic, but really confuses the heck out of me. Vonnegut uses a more casual, and somewhat comical tone in SH5, which contrasts O'Brien's vivid tellings of the realities of war in 3TC (which by the way is the best way to abbreviate it). While both writers have very unique styles, there is some common ground between them. For example, in the beginnings of both novels, both authors share a personal experience about actually writing the book which kinda adds more realism to the story.
The Things They Carried is similar to Slaughterhouse 5 in the obvious way that it is a “war story”. However, this classification is too broad a definition and it must be taken into consideration who tells the story and how the story is told.Slaughterhouse 5 opens with a chapter by the author, in first person, describing how he came to write the book. Time O’Brien also opens his book in a similar way in the chapter Love. In this chapter, O’Brien talks about a visit he made to an old friend he had in the war. O’Brien talks about his plans for the book, much like Vonnegut does in his book.There are also stylistic similarities in book books. Between pages 68 and 78 O’Brien talks about what makes a true war story. He says that it has no moral and may or may not be true. Vonnegut’s book is certainly not “true” in the conventional sense, and it also has no clear moral.My favorite connection between Slaughterhouse 5 and The Things They Carried comes on page 133 of the latter and stems from my love of the Tralfamadorians. These fourth-dimensional creatures had a unique perspective on time: knowing how events play out, and choosing to dwell on pleasant moments. A death in Slaughterhouse 5 was concluded with the phrase “and so it goes”. In O’Brien’s book, the narrator kills a man, saying, “and it will always be that way”.
In both Slaughterhouse 5 and The Things They Carried they both talk about their war experiences. Both O'Brien and Vonnegut put themselves in their stories as characters. When they talk about what happened they don't tell you want you want to hear they tell you what you should hear. They explain everything that happens in detail and don't leave anything out. How it happens is how they tell it. Both stories seem to be fragmented and when you read you have to put the pieces together. In SH5 Billy becomes "unstuck in time", and the book moves around a lot. In TTTC it seems to move around, just not as much as in SH5. All in all I think both of these novels tell their story very well.
The biggest similarity between Slaughterhouse 5 and The Things They Carried is that they are both war novels. However neither is a romantic, heroic, story of bravery and valor. They both show insight into how war really was, and how it was just scary. Not much more. Both are anti-war novels, only about two different wars. But both were fought by children. Vonnegut even told his friends wife he'd call his book The Children's Crusade. O'Brien also talks about all the young people in Nam, many only 18 or 19 years old. Both are anti-ware books about the youth fighting these terrible conflicts.
I would like to compare the after effects of those who went to war- demonstrated in both of the novels. Vonnegut criticizes the war in general, and Americans and how they killed and bombed senselessly. He also talks about how the war effected him many years after it finished. He was aged by being involved with the war, and had years taken from him he will never get back. O'Brien also uses the after war situation to bring attention to how poorly the Vets were treated upon returning home. He tells a story of a man whose come back to his hometown, and due to being away so long, he has no one to talk to at the time when he wants to talk the most.
I think that the novels are similar in many ways. From the beginning of both books the PTSD in the soldiers are very noticeable. In slaughterhouse five Billy is always getting "stuck in time" and he can't really function fully and he isn't all there in his mind. You see this in the beginning of The Things they Carried when Strunk was climbing in the tunnel and Cross was watching him and all of sudden he got stuck. All he think about was Martha and he was have fantasies and wasn't all there in his mind. Also Billy was talking nonsense about the aliens and in the end of the book Kiley started to talk about crazy stuff like that. Kiley was one of the most sane men there and he started talking about seeing these visions of his men dead and how they die and he also saw himself. Both authors didn't focus as much on the physical affects of war but mostly the mental and psychological affects.
I think that the two stories have a lot of similarities. First off Vonnegut and O’Brian have very similar writing styles. When they write their chapter are relatively short and they aren’t in chronological order. Each chapter jumps to a different character or period of time. Because they write this way their books seem sort of choppy. Secondly, their characters and their personalities are very comparable. For example, in Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut creates a character, Roland Weary, who is young, dumb and cruel. Roland Weary’s personality is almost identical to that of O’Brian character Azar, who blames his cruelty on his youth and the stupidity that comes with it. Another similarity would be the fact that both authors write themselves into their book. Throughout Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut makes short appearances to try to show that what Billy was experiencing, he experienced also. This is similar to the way O’Brian writes himself into his book and tells his story as well as other soldiers. The last similarity between the two books is that they both have some surreal qualities. In Slaughterhouse 5 Billy comes “unstuck in time” and sees family and friends and relives memories. I think that this allusion of people and places is comparable to the story “On the Rainy River” when O’Brian describes his hallucination. I think these are similar because really all his time traveling is, is a hallucination.
Both Kurt Vonnegut and Tim O'Brien use a very unique style of writing, both of which are great at communicating their message and tone to the reader. They vary the lengths of their sentences, many are brief in order to create emphasis. The two make very similar observations about war. Kurt Vonnegut introduced the young, androgynous looking soldier to emphasize how many of the soldiers were young and innocent. O'Brien similarly emphasizes the innocence of the soldiers by describing their possessions, like a comic book for instance. Each tends to jump from topic to topic, creating a collage of events. Vonnegut does this literally with the theme of Time Travel while O'Brien recalls scattered events. Both authors are in the story but refrain from telling too much about themselves and their role. Both authors seem to be more interested in sharing the bigger picture of war instead of their own story.